Ryan Prachnau’s first-ever marathon win was a big one.
The Abbotsford native finished in two hours, 39 minutes and 36 seconds to claim the 20th annual BMO Okanagan Marathon title under sunny skies Sunday in Kelowna.
Edmonton’s Jason Britton was runner-up in 2:55:44 and Ryan Turner of Calgary placed third in a time of 2:56:39.
“I thought maybe there was a good chance for me to win,” said Prachnau, competing in only his sixth marathon. “The first half of the race I felt really good, it was easy to stay on pace. It was the last 10k that was harder.”
Edmonton’s Danielle Bourgeois clocked a 3:02:47 to claim the women’s title.
Following in second place was Allison Blackmore of Calgary (3:05:38) and Edmonton’s Heather Kuzyk (3:08:39).
A total of nine North Okanagan athletes completed the marathon, with Enderby’s Patricia Cech placing second in the women’s 60-69 age group with a 4:38:21.
Vernon’s Bob Peacock (3:31:43) was 52nd overall and third in the men’s 60-69 class. Coldstream’s Rossi Wiltse earned a top-10 age-group finish in the women’s 30-39 with a 3:45:59.
In the half marathon, Penticton’s Jeff Symonds claimed his fourth BMO title with a 1:13:09.
“It was a great day to run, perfect weather conditions,” said Symonds. “I was extra motivated to win and defend my previous titles at my hometown race.”
Second place went to Calgary’s Alistair Hill (1:14:23), with Vernon’s Nathan Champness taking third place in 1:18:09.
For the women, it was Edmonton’s Jillian Brady crossing first in 1:28:55, with Julie Compton of Vancouver (1:29:19) and Edmonton’s Stephanie Matheson (1:33:15) ranking second and third, respectively.
A pair of Coldstream runners recorded age-group titles, with Silping Wong (1:34:20) topping the women’s 40-49 and Sally Stewart (1:34:52) winning the women’s 50-59. Vernon’s Wes Cooper (1:39:11) was third in the men’s 50-59.
Of the 69 participating North Okanagan athletes, the following earned top-10 age-group times: Myra Mattila (1:49:41), fourth, women’s 50-59; Meghan Tetrault (1:55:36), fourth, women’s U19; Manuel Fehlmann (1:27:06), fifth, men’s 30-39; Seija Deleenheer (1:41:30), sixth, women’s 30-39; Willa Martin (1:43:42), seventh, women’s 40-49.
Vernon’s Lori Youdell ran a 42:08 to win the women’s 10km title.
An estimated 3,000 athletes participated in the weekend events.